Hair removal. One of the least glamorous but most necessary beauty rituals. The problem is, every single way of executing it has at least one big disadvantage. Shaving – only lasts only a couple of days; professional waxing - expensive and painful; home-waxing – messy and even more painful; epilation – really really painful!
This is why laser hair removal has been something I’ve wanted to try for a while – it’s pricey, but being permanently fuzz-free is worth the investment, right? So when Philips invited me to try their brand new at-home laser hair removal system, Lumea, I jumped at the chance. They’ve set up a pop-up spa at the gorgeous Soho Hotel in London and the deal is - I go in for four sessions, two weeks apart, and in eight weeks I should be able to kiss my razor goodbye forever...
I had my first session on Monday evening, and to be honest, I walked into the room a bit of a nervous wreck... In my extensive pre-treatment research (read: googled ‘laser hair removal risks’ in 5-minute lunch break) I discovered all manner of horrific laser-induced injuries. On top of that, I’d been sent a 5-page safety information document, and a disclaimer waiving all responsibility from Philips in case of ‘personal damage or injury’. Errmm... is this going to hurt? Am I going to be permanently scarred with third degree burns??! Help!
Luckily my therapist, Ella, who was over-seeing my session, immediately put me at ease. She talked me through the product and how to use it, gave me a demonstration on my arm and then supervised whilst I tentatively started zapping my bikini line. And I have to say – it was incredibly easy to use, and even more importantly, virtually pain free!! It looks like a high tech cordless hairdryer- you press it against the bit of skin you want to zap, wait for the green ‘ready’ light, and pull the trigger. There’s a bright flash of red, and you feel a slight heat sensation – but no pain!! And that’s it! You get the occasional slightly alarming whiff of burning hair, but Ella assured me that is totally normal.
Overall I was really really impressed. It’s so quick and easy – it took me about 15 minutes to do my bikini line, including pauses where I was nattering away to Ella. And you can use it to zap hair virtually anywhere on your body, just not your face. And you don’t have to wait for hair to grow like you do when waxing – in fact, it works most effectively on clean shaven skin as the laser beam can travel down and damage the hair follicle more efficiently. The only drawback is that it doesn’t work on all skin tones – any darker than an olive skin tone and it’s a no go I’m afraid, and it will only work on black to dark blonde hairs, nothing lighter.
For everyone else though, this could be the best £400 you ever spend! If I’m hair free in 8 weeks – and I will of course let you know if I am – I would 110% recommend you buy this product. I’ll keep you posted!
Philips Lumea, £400, available from Boots now. Visit the Philips website for more details.